Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.
(photo credit: YUVAL EREL)
Tel Aviv’s Bronfman Auditorium morphed into Miami Beach’s Eden Roc Hotel on Monday night when Rock & Roll Hall of Fame member Frankie Valli brought his polished Four Seasons stage show to Israel for the first time.
Still dapper and sporting more than his share of Jersey swagger, the 83-year-old Valli has only lost a small percentage of the vocal abilities that powered The Four Seasons to the upper echelon of the pop pantheon in the early ’60s, where they stood shoulder to shoulder with The Beatles and The Beach Boys.
Backed by the wonderfully kitschy choreographed moves and precise harmonies of a young and spunky four-seasoned vocal quartet, and a crack Vegas-perfect band (featuring a pickup Israeli brass section), Valli reminded the near capacity crowd that The Four Seasons had an amazing, extensive string of still-fabulous-sounding classic Spectorish songs.
From “Walk Like A Man” and “Working My Way” to “Rag Doll” and “Dawn,” Valli had the audience of mostly old-timers (including US Ambassador David Friedman, who received polite applause after his shout-out) on their feet and singing.
Valli himself doesn’t move around much, but we should all be so lucky to stand on stage for nearly two hours and sing at near peak level at his age. When the singers went doo-wop a cappella at the beginning of “Sherry Baby” and “Silence is Golden,” there was no need for movement anyway, just appreciation of sublime perfection.
Of course, this being a comprehensive oldies show, some of Valli’s more dated, disco- era latter-day hits like “Who Loves You” and “Grease” were also featured, along with a laconic version of his middle-of-the-road ballad “My Eyes Adored You.” But even they were raised up by the level of performance and good will expressed by the performers.
Ironically, it was the corny “December, 1963 (Oh What a Night)” that initially prompted the audience to throw down their walking aids and boogie in the aisles. But it was the rousing rendition of his solo-career romantic standard “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” that really triggered a massive singalong.
With an encore of “Let’s Hang On,” Valli glad-handed the fans crowding the stage and walked off to a well-deserved hero’s ovation